Author Archives: Brittany Stiles

About Brittany Stiles

Brittany is an interior designer and stylist constantly searching for creativity and inspiration in the world around her. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California where she finds plenty of both. Her interior design studio services a variety of clients throughout California seeking her simple and collected aesthetic. Brittany believes that a house becomes a home when it is beautiful, comfortable and, most importantly, reflects the personality of the people who live inside.

Pink and Red Rooms to Inspire Your February

February is a time to spread the love and today I’m spreading my love of red and pink rooms. While they are fashionable year round, they are especially hot at this time of year!

Pink & Red with Contrast

Pink and Red Rooms to Inspire Your FebruaryImage: ELLE DECOR

For a room that doesn’t scream red or pink, there sure is a lot of it in this living space. The delicate balance is probably why I like this family room so much. The black upholstered ottoman and dark metal sconces ground the space but add contrast to the English damask sofa and pale pink walls. The green ikat pillows and blue vase are just the right amount of additional color without making the room feel too crazy.

Pink and Red in a Classic Girl’s Room

Pink and Red Rooms to Inspire Your FebruaryImage: ELLE DECOR

It’s no surprise that the place where pink is used most is in a little girl’s room. I love the different tones of pink and the splashes of red in this room, which help keep the look from being too frilly or babyish. A two-year-old could easily grow into a teen in this room, with curvy upholstered headboard and fun paper lanterns.

Pink & Red in a Whimsical Kitchen

Pink and Red Rooms to Inspire Your FebruaryImage: House Beautiful

Ah yes, the perfect way to add pink and red to your kitchen is with a pink fridge and red pendant light. You don’t see that every day, but it is completely charming in this beach house used during the summer and on vacations. Adorable café curtains, artwork and runner complete the look, and make this a whimsical Valentine’s-ready interior.

Pink & Red for Drama

Pink and Red Rooms to Inspire Your FebruaryImage: House and Home

Add in some zebra print, velvet, and glamorously framed art for a red and pink room that screams luxury and drama. The dark floor inlayed with a geometric metal pattern is just icing on the cake. This space is the epitome of eclectic glamour and the pops of red and pink make it that much more unique.

Do you look to any pink and red rooms for inspiration? Comment below and let us know!

Heart Inspired Décor for Valentine’s Day Lovers

Image: (left) designlovefest (right) For Girls Only

Although you may not want hearts as a theme in your décor year round, it sure is fun to add them in around Valentine’s Day. There are a number of easy ways you can do this that will add the perfect touch of love and whimsy to your interior. Here is a mix of some of my favorite ways to add hearts to your décor during the first half of February.

Hearts and Crafts

I love these heart art projects that you can recreate each year at craft parties and with kids. The heart napkin installation on the left from designlovefest can be made on a large or small scale depending on where you want to display it. My husband’s birthday happens to fall on Valentine’s Day and that would be the perfect photo backdrop for his birthday party or if you were hosting a Valentine’s Day get together. The heart garland on the right is something that kids of all ages can take part in. It can be hung from doorknobs and light fixtures or draped around door frames giving everyone who enters a little love.

Heart Pillows

Heart Inspired Décor for Year-Round LoveImage: CASASUGAR

Pillows are perhaps the quickest and easiest way to get into the V-Day spirit. Pull them out of the closet to throw around during February. The online tutorials for creating your own heart pillow are vast, or if you’re a non-DIYer like me you’ll just be purchasing one from someone who is far craftier than you on Etsy.

Serious Heart Art

Heart Inspired Décor for Year-Round LoveImage: Architectural Digest

Brooke Shields is committing to hearts year round with this serious heart art hung above her mantle. This works because her room, although colorful and full of pattern, is still very grownup and traditional. The more whimsical heart art creates a nice balance in the room.

Heart Shaped Eats

Heart Inspired Décor for Year-Round LoveImage: (left) Just Bella (right) Helt Enkelt

Who doesn’t love a heart shaped pancake dyed pink on Valentine’s Day? As my brother’s birthday also falls on Valentine’s Day, those were pretty much a staple in my home growing up, but these mini heart shaped marshmallows and heart shaped biscuits are taking things to the next level.

What are some of your favorite’s ways to use hearts around Valentine’s Day? Comment below and let us know!

4 Iconic Chairs: Then & Now

Images: (left) Modern Maggie (right) Houzz

A few times throughout each century we experience greatness by way of furniture design. With such a strong attraction to eclectic, modern interiors these days, we’re seeing the iconic chairs from the mid 20th century pop up like Miley Cyrus in the tabloids. My list of iconic chairs could have easily filled up a few blog posts, so today I’m just highlighting four of my favorites as we look at a few “then” and “now” photos and discuss why they’re so great they don’t need to change.

The Egg Chair

Designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1958, The Egg chair always seems to come in fun bold colors, which is just one of the many reasons I love it so much. Because of its height and curvy cocoon-like shape, The Egg chair can serve a similar function to a traditional wing chair in a reading nook or next to a fireplace. It’s perfect for relaxing with a good book or just making a fabulous modern statement. Above, you can see The Egg chair “then” and “now.”

Model 3107

4 Iconic Chairs: Then and Now on the Interior CollectiveImages: (left) Wikimedia Commons (right) Accent On Design

It would not be a complete list of my favorite iconic chairs if I didn’t include the Model 3107 chair by Arne Jacobsen. This chair has been fitting seamlessly into interiors since 1955 and with incredibly affordable knock offs found at retailers such as West Elm and Target, college dorm rooms can now be just as stylish as the modern apartments of Manhattan.

Tulip Chair

4 Iconic Chairs: Then and Now on the Interior CollectiveImages: (left) DecoSEE (right) Snuut Architecture

The Tulip chair is a fun break from wood and was originally made of aluminum and fiberglass when Eero Saarinen first designed it in 1955. It was known for its “space-age” design back then and I dare say that 58 years later it still looks pretty space-age, which is probably why I like it so much. Saarinen was dedicated to cleaning up the mess of legs under tables and chairs by adding pedestal bases to everything. His designs are still accomplishing that goal today while adding a much needed punch of modern flair into any interior.

Wishbone Chair

4 Iconic Chairs: Then and Now on the Interior CollectiveImages: (left) Yakima Valley Museum (right) Micasa Decoration via Lolalina

Let’s face it, when you want to mix and match styles, most iconic chairs from the mid century make it pretty easy due to their clean lines and no-fuss attitude. But, I have to say that the Wishbone chair by Hans Wegner does the mix and match routine the best. If you’re looking for a modern twist to your Asian, Scandinavian, coastal, vintage, country, industrial (I could go on, but you get the picture) interior, the Wishbone chair is for you. Its dainty arms and ergonomic, but upright, back make it a great choice for a dining, desk, or accent chair.

What is your favorite style of chair that has stood the test of time?

Let the Light In: 4 Unique Places to Use Windows

Image: Traditional Home

Windows are such beautiful things aren’t they? They let it light and allow you to be part of the outside world while protecting you against Mother Nature’s not so pleasant side (cold, heat, bugs, critters, etc.) I’ve been thinking a lot about my “dream home” lately and even though it probably won’t be happening until the distant future, one thing is for sure, it will have windows galore. And as I’ve thought about the placement of such windows, I’ve come across some pretty groovy ideas.

1. In a bathroom behind the mirrors

Let the Light In: 4 Unique Places to Use Windows on the Interior CollectiveImage: Veranda Magazine via Decor Pad

This is incredible genius for two main reasons. One, it gives you the perfect lighting for getting ready for the day. Natural light is the most flattering and allows you to see things that artificial light is often too dim to catch. Two, if the window takes up the same space as the mirror, that leaves you extra wall space for additional storage or artwork.

2. Window-backed cabinets

Let the Light In: 4 Unique Places to Use Windows on the Interior CollectiveImage: Traditional Home

I saw this image in Traditional Home a while back and have never forgotten it. It takes expert craftsmanship to pull off a cabinet that doubles as a window, but what a wise investment! With every kitchen remodel there always seems to be the lengthy discussion of what is more important: window space or cabinet space. This is what we call the best of both worlds.

3. Windows in closets

Let the Light In: 4 Unique Places to Use Windows on the Interior CollectiveImages: (left) Steven Gambrel via Habitually Chic (right) The Lisa Porter Collection

When I picture my current closet I picture a small, cluttered, dark space. When I picture the closet in my future dream home I picture a grand, incredibly organized, light space. Well it’s time to cast off the notion that closets must be void of natural light. It may take some shifting around, but if you’re working on a remodel or new construction project you may want to consider placing your closets so that they can accommodate a window. Who knows, I might actually keep it clean if I can bask in the sunshine while I’m in there.

4. Interior to interior windows

Let the Light In: 4 Unique Places to Use Windows on the Interior CollectiveImage: Nate Berkus via La Dolce Vita

The past 15 or more years have been all about the great room design plan, open floor plans, and eliminating hallways. I know, I know… it’s like one big party and makes your house feel bigger when it isn’t chopped up, but for noise, privacy, and organizational purposes I just can’t quite jump on board whole-heartedly. Enter interior to interior windows. They allow for separation but also keep the openness of the space. They are most successfully executed with steel casing as shown above.

Where will you add windows in your future dream home? Comment below and let us know!

A New Take on Standard Subway Tile

Image: Sarah Richardson

We’ve seen subway tile used extensively in all styles of kitchens and bathrooms across the globe. Its ability to fit seamlessly into interiors both traditional and modern, elegant and casual, industrial and country, adds to its timeless and much loved sensibility. But even the best designs need a little shaking up every now and then. Here are a few simple and equally timeless ways, like the herringbone design above, to change up this classic design element.

Straight Set

A New Take on Standard Subway Tile on the Interior CollectiveImage: Better Homes and Gardens

Opposed to offset which creates the standard brick pattern, straightest tiles are perfectly lined up like the cells on an Excel spreadsheet. Try this out for a sleeker, and more modern affect.

Set Vertically

A New Take on Standard Subway Tile on the Interior CollectiveImage: Hanna's Room

Laying your subway tiles vertical instead of horizontal is a simple alternative that is works if you’re looking for a subtle change to the old standard. This can also help elongate your space, especially when you have a large empty wall. This works equally well as straight set tile or in a brick pattern.

Add Some Contrast

A New Take on Standard Subway Tile on the Interior CollectiveImage: La Dolce Vita

Why not spice things up by incorporating contrasting tiles? This contrast can come by way of a new color or size of tile placed in line with the standard white rectangles.

Elongated Hexagons

A New Take on Standard Subway Tile on the Interior CollectiveImage: One Designer's Future Home

I love a good hex tile and this one is “stretched” making it an awesome alternative to subway tile, with just a little more dimension. Using a color other than white also helps to make the look your own.

What are some of your favorite subway tile looks?

Design and Dine Giveaway: Win This Holiday Table Décor Designed by Brittany Stiles

There is nothing that brings family and friends together like the dinner table, especially around the holidays. With all of the shopping, baking, caroling, sledding, and hot cocoa drinking you have to do, we know that designing your holiday table is just one more thing on your holiday to do list, which is why I am so excited to announce Caesarstone’s Design & Dine giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive this entire holiday tablescape sponsored and inspired by Caesarstone! You can enter the giveaway HERE.

Win this holiday table décor by Brittany Stiles during the Caesarstone #DesignandDine Giveaway at InteriorCollective.comImage: Brittany Stiles

Table Inspiration

I had the incredibly fun privilege of designing this table and looked to Caesarstone colors for inspiration. Just like many of Caesarstone’s products, the table is designed to fit in many different style settings and additional colors and design elements can be added to make the design your own.

The overall table design has a rustic winter aesthetic mixed with the classic gold sparkle of the holidays. I achieved this look by combining natural wood elements such as the birch candle holders and walnut dinner plates with metallic gold goblets and star and bell ornaments as a party favor and embellishment to simple place cards.

Win this holiday table décor by Brittany Stiles during the Caesarstone #DesignandDine Giveaway at InteriorCollective.comImage: Brittany Stiles

What’s Included?

The winner of Caesarstone’s Design & Dine giveaway will receive each of the following:

Win this holiday table décor by Brittany Stiles during the Caesarstone #DesignandDine Giveaway at InteriorCollective.comImage: Brittany Stiles

  1. linen table cloth with eyelet trim detail (102” x 60”) and grasscloth table runner (can be cut to your custom size) (1)
  2. Walnut dinner plates/chargers (6)
  3. Salad plates (6)
  4. Crystal wine glasses (6)
  5. Gold stemless goblets (can also be used as candle holders) (6)
  6. Cotton napkins (6)
  7. White deer antlers (6)
  8. Birch wood candle holders (6)
  9. Stone flower containers, 1 medium, 2 small (flowers not included) (3)
  10. Handmade porcelain ornaments, gold stars and bells (6)

Win this holiday table décor by Brittany Stiles during the Caesarstone #DesignandDine Giveaway at InteriorCollective.comImage: Brittany Stiles

I can’t think of a better way to kick off the holiday season so register here and good luck!

Why DIEM Believes LA Designs Are More Spontaneous

Image: West Hollywood Design District

Last Friday I had the opportunity to attend part of the DIEM design symposium in West Hollywood. DIEM focuses on the exchange of ideas within the realm of art and design and is filled with talks and panels on a variety of interesting topics. I attend design panels frequently throughout the year, which often cover the same topics and address the same questions. I always love hearing thoughts on these topics, but DIEM brought new ideas and new discussions to the table, which made for a very enlightening Friday morning.

DIEM Panel Speakers2
Image Source: Brittany Stiles

LA: The new design hot spot.

The first discussion was between Frances Anderton (DIEM’s curator) and Mallery Roberts Morgan. Mallery is the design writer and creative consultant/correspondent for Architectural Digest France. The title of the talk was “LA Design & the View from Paris.” Mallery, although born in the US, moved to Paris in her early 20s and stayed there for about 20 years before coming back to the US, making her home in Los Angeles. It’s true, Los Angeles can be smoggy and full of traffic and impatient people, and as a resident, sometimes that’s all I see when I look around. This was a perfect discussion for me because I was reminded of all of the reasons why I call Los Angeles home. Apparently we have a few things going for us here in La La Land; we have a lot of space that is also affordable (relatively speaking) in which to design and create. Artists, craftsmen, and designers flock to Los Angeles to hone and perfect their craft. As a result, the city is chalk full of cutting edge talent, from perfectly curated design shops to contemporary art galleries and masterfully skilled metal and woodworkers.

Mallery and Frances also discussed the element of spontaneity that LA possesses that they haven’t necessarily been able to find anywhere else. Many other cities—Paris, London, New York, etc. —have certain unofficial guidelines about “good” design, but Los Angeles has a certain “anything goes” attitude that even when artists and designers miss the mark, they are still applauded for their spontaneity and willingness to live outside the box. After all, that’s when the best ideas are born.

Warehouse Art Galleries

DIEM Panel 2
Image Source: Brittany Stiles

The other DIEM discussion that I attended was titled, “Public Access Limited?: LA's New Era
of White-Box Warehouse Galleries “ and consisted of a panel of artists and curators sharing their unique perspective on art gallery trends. One popular trend right now is that galleries are becoming much larger than they have been in previous decades. Gallery owners are starting to utilize large warehouses in industrial parts of town more and more over small galleries on trendy streets. Ideas were shared about warehouse galleries. The pros: they can hold a lot of guests for gallery openings and events, they can hold extremely large pieces of art, and they can provide that classic museum feel; and the cons: small art is lost on giant walls, if the space is not planned out well it can feel empty, and warehouse spaces can be expensive to renovate and maintain. As the panel closed the jury was still out on which was a better direction for galleries, but it was truly interesting and educational to listen to people who were so knowledgeable about the topic. I left the talk with a goal to visit a few of the warehouse galleries in Los Angeles to be able to form my own opinion on the subject and perhaps join in on the discussion next time!

DIEM sign
Image: West Hollywood Design District

Were any of you able to attend this year’s DIEM symposium? Comment below to let us know what you thought!

Crash Course in Space Planning

Image: Courtney Out Loud

Every interior design project has at least one thing in common: they all need a good space plan. Whether you are shopping for the whole room, or just a chair in the corner, you will have much more success if you start out with a plan.

What is a Space Plan?

Space Plan Furniture Layout
Images: (Top) Alice Lane, (Bottom) Alice Lane

A space plan is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, a plan for your space. This is where you take measurements of your room and draw an aerial view to scale including window and door placement. I use AutoCAD to create space plans for clients because they are quick and easy to edit, but graph paper or other online programs work just as well (try Googling “space plan online”). After your walls are in place, add in your furniture and decide on placement and size. Do you want a sectional? Or a sofa with two chairs instead? Now is the time to try out different options and see what works best for your lifestyle and for your space.

Why a Space Plan?

Space Plan Before and After
Image: Candice Olson

This post is actually a little funny coming from me because I’m not usually much of a planner. Wisher, dreamer, hoper? Yes. But planner? Not so much. As much as I love a little bit of chaos thrown into an interior, I always save that for art, accessories, and small accent pieces. But never for the main furnishings – those are all planned from the very beginning and there are so many advantages to approaching your design project this way.

The most obvious advantage is that space planning saves time and money. I can’t tell you how many times clients have called me after purchasing a sofa that was too long or after a wall was torn down that now leaves them stumped on where to put the TV. Plan it out from the beginning and you will avoid these costly and time-consuming errors.

Another great advantage is that space plans give you a shopping list for your project. It will keep you focused and on track, which will cut down on frustration, disappointment and wild goose chases. If you space plan properly, the size, shape, and type of furnishings you need will already be determined – eliminating more than half of your choices before you even step into a showroom or cruise the World Wide Web.

Other Helpful Space Planning Tips

Space Plan Sketch
Images: (Top) Alice Lane, (Bottom) Alice Lane

Don’t forget about walkways! Sometimes furniture looks like it fits perfectly in your 2D areal drawing, but the 3D version is lacking sufficient pathways for people to move around comfortably in the room. Here are a few measurements that I keep in my head at all times: 12” – 20” is sufficient space between seating and a coffee table; 24” – 30” is ideal for all other walkways between furniture; and 30”+ is best for areas with heavier traffic flow.

Always carry a tape measure and a copy of your space plan with you (taking a photo of your plan with your phone is especially handy). The worst thing that can happen to a decorator is finding something on sale and not knowing if it fits! Furniture is much too costly and much too heavy to haul back home only to be disappointed. Tape measures are especially helpful for all the thrifters out there shopping at flea markets and second hand stores where measurements aren’t listed on the tag.

So what do you think? Will you take the time to space plan your next project? Comment below and let us know!

4 Easy Ways to Mix & Match Art

Image: Architectural Digest

If you’re anything like me, mixing things up your interior is a must. But where do you draw the line between perfectly mismatched and utter chaos? Walking this line when it comes to art in your home can be especially challenging. To lend a hand, here are my 4 easy ways to mix and match art while still maintaining a sense of cohesiveness and harmony.

Mix & match within the same color palate.

Image: (Left) Design File, (Right) Thom Felicia

This is, perhaps, my favorite way to mix and match art successfully. The example of a Suzanne Kasler vignette on the left is a very literal interpretation of this approach; everything is the same color and tone regardless of the medium. It creates an incredibly cohesive and stunning grouping. The Thom Felicia designed living room on the right takes a looser approach. Each of the works displayed in this interior are muted with a similar depth of color, but all are slightly different; some brighter, some strictly black and white. Either of these approaches can work for you. It will largely depend on the art that you have to work with.

Mix & match within the same period.

Image: Design File

Above, famous designer Martin Lawrence Bullard mixes photography with large canvas paintings from similar time periods in the latter part of the 20th century. The subject matter is unique and completely unrelated, but it works! This particular mix of art makes the room more interesting without being too eclectic. Staying within a similar time period can be an especially successful approach to mixing art when you also incorporate furnishings of the same time period.

Mix & match similar subject matter.

Image: Architectural Digest

I’ve seen this done successfully with maps, portraits, landscapes, seascapes, fashion drawings, botanicals…the list goes on. Grouping by subject matter can be one of the easiest approaches to mixing and matching art. It can really make a focused statement instead of scattering that subject throughout the house. It’s the perfect way to display art that is reminiscent of your hobbies, interests, or personality traits. Nothing gets the point across more than a large art grouping of a similar subject.

Mix & match within the same medium.

Image: Architectural Digest

I keep coming across this living room in the New York apartment of Richard Lambertson and John Truex. Something about it just speaks to me. I think it is largely due to the colorful art contrasted with the neutral furnishings. I love how the two balance each other out. This space is a perfect example of how one can mix art within the same medium. All of these works are bold and interesting on their own, but also work seamlessly together as they are all oil paintings. This same rule applies to photography, watercolors, ink drawings, etc.

Do you have one “go-to” rule for grouping art in your home that isn’t listed above? Keep the conversation going by sharing below!

A Quick Guide to Ethnic Textiles

Textiles have always had a special place in my heart whether new or old, from near or far. I can’t help but notice the impact an ethnic textile has on the design and aesthetic of an interior. It’s as though, all of the sudden, the room is well traveled and more interesting. I’m slowly getting my bearings when it comes to knowing the country of origin for various textiles so I thought it’d be helpful for myself, and hopefully all our readers as well, if I put together a little visual crash course in ethnic textiles.

Indonesian Textiles

Indonesian Textiles
Images: Sara Gilbane Interiors (Left), 1stdibs (Right)

Indonesian textiles have been around for centuries and their techniques and styles are still widely used, re-used, and re-interpreted today. We can largely thank Indonesian culture for the long lasting ikat trend. Ikat is a dyeing technique similar to tie-dye that creates interesting and beautiful patterns and shapes. I love the imperfections of Indonesian textiles and the modern interpretations that are currently available.

Central Asia

Central Asian Textiles
Images: 1stdibs (Left), Country Living (Right)

Just as ubiquitous as the ikat pattern, is the suzani textile hailing from central Asia. Every time I come across an antique suzani I am always amazed at how well it has held up over so many years. I’m equally in awe of how something so old can look so contemporary; that is part of the charm of historical styles I suppose. Suzanis are tribal textiles that employ highly decorative embroidery on cotton (and sometimes silk) fabric. Most of the design motifs found on suzani textiles are derived from nature. Moon disks, suns, flowers, leaves, and vines are very popular and embroidered in a beautifully stylized way.

Indian Textiles

Indian Textiles
Images: Dream Design Live (Left), Textile Arts (Right)

If you’ve been to India or seen any movie that takes place there, you can’t help but fall in love with the way this culture embraces every color and pattern so effortlessly. It’s a way of life for them, and lucky for me, textiles from India are plentiful on bargain sites like eBay! Indian textiles are characterized by richly painted and dyed cottons. India is also known for using the ikat technique in their textiles. Along with cotton, many Indian textiles are made of fine silk, standing out amongst the crowd for their sheen and iridescent quality.

African Textiles

African Textiles
Images: Kelly Behun Studio (Top), Textile Arts (Bottom)

African textiles are some of my favorite because they frequently contrast black with more neutral tones, Don’t get me wrong, they use their fair share of color too, but as a whole, you will find a lot more black and neutral tones in African textiles. Another key characteristic of African textiles is their strong graphic quality. They’re what I like to call perfectly imperfect, never perfectly symmetrical and always seeming to exude an interesting story.

South & Central America

South and Central American Textiles
Images: Elle Décor (Top), Indigenous (Bottom)

While ethnic textiles definitely use a lot of color, I believe that those from South and Central America take the cake. On past trips to Mexico and Costa Rica, I couldn’t help but fall in love with houses painted in bright pinks, greens, and yellows. Their textiles aren’t any different. South and Central American textiles also have high sensitivity to texture and often have a heavier, slightly coarser hand, making them great for floor coverings or on anything else that might get a lot of ware or need more insulation.

Which ethnic textile are you most likely to use in your interior? Comment below and let us know!